There’s a vast array of diets, detoxes, weight loss programmes and exercise regimes out there but all purveyors of wellness and good health advocate the same fundamentals; good food, regular exercise and quality sleep. While the first two are totally under our control the third proves to be elusive for so many. And the more you think about it the harder it is to grasp. Like trying to focus on a mirage it keeps evading and magnifies itself into a bigger problem the harder you try.
Everyone has had trouble sleeping at some time or other, be it at a time of stress, excitement or over-stimulation, whether it’s due to external reasons beyond your control, such as small children, snoring partners or lumpy pillows but for many it is a nightly nuisance.
Here at Yeotown Health Retreat our guests frequently rejoice over the quality of sleep they get whilst on retreat. We attribute this not only to our super comfy beds, luxurious linens and silent nights but to the combination of activities our guests partake in during the day. Guests are physically tired out from the yoga sessions, core workouts, coastal hiking and cycling and, equally importantly, their minds are emptied and their bodies nourished by clean foods and abstinence from all stimulants, be they chemical, nutritional or digital!
Just as it is within your power to give your diet and exercise regime a radical overhaul so is it possible to improve your quality of sleep and not be a victim of restless nights. Every aspect of your health and wellbeing will benefit from regular unbroken sleep so empower yourself and make sleep a priority.
Here are a few hints and tips to help you catch those precious zzzzz’s.
Set the Scene
Low lighting, comfy pillows, clean sheets. It might sound obvious but make sure you get the basics right so that there are no niggling discomforts.
The best laid plans go wrong and it’s easy to fixate, obsess and over complicate. Remember sleep is natural, we make it hard by over-thinking it. If you are telling yourself that you can’t possibly go to sleep without the humidifier on, lavender pillow spritz, feet elevated at 25 degrees and satin eye mask perhaps it’s time to strip things back to basics and get the fundamentals straight.
We all know it by now; staring at the blue light emitted by our various gadgets before lights out is not conducive to good sleep so unplug, switch off and tune out at least an hour before bed. This has the added bonus of letting your mind relax and stop chewing over the daily news/gossip/spreadsheets that you’re staring at all day too!
Chances are stress has been a factor in undermining your sleep routine in the first place so stressing about lack of it is only going to compound the issue. Put it in perspective, yes it is exhausting and draining and makes you feel half human but it is a temporary problem which you can find a solution to so don’t upset yourself at 2am. Relax! Part of the solution is to reprogramme your mind to associate your bed with sleep rather than the restless tossings and turnings of the habitual insomniac. Some practical methods to try include a sleep meditation (try this one with Mercedes) or some pre-bedtime yoga.
Write it Down
The biggest culprit for sleep theft (aside from parenting children under the age of three!) is our own minds. If your mind is on an endless treadmill empty your thoughts on to a piece of paper before bedtime and leave a pen and paper on your bedside table in case of nighttime flashes of genius/to do lists. seo service company . And if you do happen to have small kids waking you up at all hours take comfort from the fact that this is a stage, in the course of a lifetime it is a short one and this too shall pass! Do what you need to do to get through it and get rest as and when you can.
Increase the amount of exercise and daylight you are getting each day. Getting to sleep is much easier when you really are tired! Anything that gets the heart pumping is great, especially running, cycling and swimming.
In some cases sleeplessness may be symptomatic of a more complex issue but by following these basics you will certainly be more relaxed and sleep-ready!